President Obama called on Senate Republicans Tuesday to give his eventual Supreme Court nominee a fair hearing in his bid to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, as cracks emerged in the Republican leadership’s position of automatically blocking any nominee.
“I expect them to hold hearings. I expect them to hold a vote,” Mr. Obama said at a press conference. “There’s no unwritten law that says it can only be done on off years.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, and others including presidential candidates Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida have vowed to block any Obama nominee, saying the next president should select Justice Scalia’s replacement.
Mr. Obama blasted that rationale.
“This is the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land,” the president said. “It’s the one court where we would expect elected officials to rise above day-to-day politics. I understand the stakes. I understand the pressure that Republican senators are undoubtedly under. This would be a deciding vote. But that’s not how the system is supposed to work.”